Ten Years -- In case you haven't heard, this week marks our 10th anniversary. Back on Oct. 20, 1993, we published our first paper. To celebrate, we're publishing a 100-page glossy magazine, which looks back on the biggest stories we've covered over the years. You can pick yours up at your usual Inlander rack site, or stop by our office at 1020 W. Riverside.
PR Offensive -- In recent weeks, it's been no secret that the White House planned to launch a "PR offensive" to counter the media's reporting on Iraq. The strategy included rushing President Bush through interviews with scores of reporters from smaller media outlets -- kind of like Ben Affleck does when he has a new movie coming out. Just this week, local TV stations here have run "exclusive" interviews, done by reporters we've never heard of, with the president. Bush rattled through how things are going better than expected -- it's a tough job, but progress is being made, he said. Fair enough, but let's not forget that his administration was telling a different story -- in-and-out quickly, flowers in the street, remember? -- before the war.
Another front in the PR offensive may or may not be the revelation that letters to the editor showing up in newspapers across the country, supposedly written by soldiers telling us folks back home how great it's going, are bogus. The Gannett newspaper chain figured out that the very same letter was showing up all over, with different soldiers' signatures. At least one soldier contacted said he didn't write the letter.
All in all, it's a pretty impressive campaign. Now if they could just figure out a "fixing Iraq offensive" to match, we'd really have something.
North by Northwest -- Oliver North is coming to Spokane, and the ads announcing the event run down his resume -- sort of. Here are a couple of the items they forgot to include:
* North, you might recall, was the central figure in the Iran-Contra Affair during the second Reagan administration, accused of covertly and illegally raising private and foreign aid for the contra rebels in Nicaragua, selling arms to Iran despite a U.S. trade and arms embargo and diverting Iran arms sale proceeds to the contras.
* He was indicted and tried on 12 counts relating to Iran-Contra, including conspiracy, fraud, theft, obstruction of a congressional investigation, false statements to Congress and the attorney general, destroying and falsifying official documents, and tax fraud conspiracy.
* He was convicted of aiding and abetting an obstruction of congressional inquiries, destroying and falsifying official documents but had his convictions overturned on appeal due to a previous immunity grant.
There, now you can fully enjoy North's appearance here.